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I own Home. Named my 2 children to life estate. 1 child filed chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Listed debts .Lien was filed against me.

Lenoir City, TN |

Lien was listed as pending in the case. It is now closed but the lien remains. Question> Can I as owner of property file a suit to have it removed?? Child who filed chapter 7 is not willing to file a motion to reopen and avoid lien. Live in Tennessee

Attorney Answers 2


An interesting question that should be raised with a real estate attorney in your area. I am going to assume that you really mean a "life estate" and therefore the children have a present, possessory interest in the property; as opposed to being just joint tenants with right of survivorship. A life estate is a substantial type of ownership interest in property.

Much will be depend on the wording of how you transferred the property. Life estates can be granted with or without the ability of the life tenant to sell, rent or mortgage the property. But life tenants can transfer the property.

In addition, if you conveyed a life estate, you are not "really" the owner in the sense that we normally think about it. If you granted a life estate, you don't have the legal power to kick your kids off the property on a whim, you simply retain a future interest in the property (assuming you kept the right of reversion to yourself) when the life tenant dies. As such, it is not clear you would have standing to deal with the lien directly (i.e. sue the lien holder for removal). You might have a case against your child for allowing the lien on the property and can sue for damages.

In any event, the answer to your questions is actually complex and you will need to PAY a lawyer to review documents and provide you an opinion; the answer to your question necessarily requires a review of documents.

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I agree with Attorney Berkus.

Law Offices of J Thomas Smith J.D., Ph.D 11500 Northwest Freeway, Suite 280 Houston, TX 77092 713-LAWYER-2 NOTE: Responses are for the education of the community at large and is not intended to be "legal advice." No attorney-client relationship is established by responses or comments.

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